"Ayala varuthathundu karimeen porichathundu.
Kodampuli ittuvecha nalla chemmeen curryumundu..."
While humming along I do admit my space being a predominantly vegetarian one. Still, at times I can't help
Ayala / Indian Mackerel -5 nos weighed 3/4 kg
Red Chilly Powder-2 tbsp- more or less as you prefer
Ginger -1” piece
Garlic- 4 large cloves
Small onions- 5 medium
Dhania /coriander powder- 1 tsp (optional)
Turmeric powder -3/4 tsp
Pepper powder -1 tsp
Curry leaves - A small sprig
Salt - to taste
Oil - 3/4 cup - for shallow frying (if 1/2 kg of fish is used, use 1/2 cup of oil)
Clean the fish,wash and make slits on both the sides. Keep aside.
Grind ginger, garlic, small onions, red chilly powder, pepper powder, turmeric powder and salt with just enough water to a smooth paste. Pulse the curry leaves last.This is the marinade which is applied on the slices(let the pieces be not wet after cleaning).Apply marinade on the fish making sure it is coated all over the surface and the slits, liberally. Arrange on a tray or a container and let it stay for at least an hour.
Heat oil in a shallow pan with high edges,Slide one at a time, carefully.Close it with a lid to avoid any spluttering out due to the moisture content on the fish and the marinade.Check after 3-5 minutes whether done, esp the under side of the pieces which is in contact with the pan.Turn over carefully so as to let the other side to get fried as well.Keep the flame medium to facilitate a balanced sort of frying and avoid the marinade seeping into the oil or the slices getting burnt on surface with uncooked insides.
While the just brown pieces are cooked and soft, a little more time makes the pieces crisper. The deepness of frying is purely according to ones own preference. A tsp of vinegar or lime-juice added to the marinade is to contribute a touch of tanginess and is optional.
Serve hot with rice and curry.